Veganism is no longer just a trend or some sort of fad diet; people are seeing real results from limiting or stopping their consumption of animal products, and it is catching on. In recent years we have seen many athletes and even body builders switching over to a plant-based lifestyle, but recently, a large portion of an NFL team decided to take the plunge, to improve their game and their health.
Members of the Tennessee Titans, linebacker Wesley Woodyard wasn’t convinced when fellow teammate Derrick Morgan suggested he went vegan and start swapping steaks for sweet potatoes. But, after an impressive season, which could see the AFC South outfit finally return to the play-offs for the first time in a decade, the 10-year veteran is not looking back.
“My energy levels have gone up.” The team’s leading tackler told AP in an interview. “And it’s just putting in good fuel to your body. And of course it’s always hard to keep weight on this time of the season. But it’s worth it for me staying on top of my health.”
“I broke down, tasted it and I’ve been in ever since. It’s good. You start off by trying to get rid of certain things. I’ve always wanted to give up red meat. Once I got the chance to get into the vegan diet, it’s kind of like you trick your mind to eat other things and you get used to it.”
Morgan has been a devoted vegan for the past 10 months, and his wife just happens to be a Cordon Bleu trained Chef, so that doesn’t hurt either.
“He knew that dairy always didn’t agree with his body because he would have reactions when he ate it. He never thought about meat. The human brain, we’ve been taught, ‘Oh we need meat. It’s protein, protein, protein.’ We both had to re-educate ourselves on what is protein,” Charity said.
She also took the initiative to study plant-based recipes online and began to make them for her husband. By the time training camp began last summer, she was also cooking and serving up vegan dishes for defensive lineman Jurrell Casey and defensive end DaQuan Jones. Now, about 10 more teammates have joined them and this diet and lifestyle.
The Titans are currently 8-6 with a defense fueled by vegan power that ranks 13th in the league. If they run table and manage to win their next two games and close out the regular season then January football will return to Nashville for the first time since 2008, which is a pretty impressive feat considering this is a team who had the worst record in the league just 2 years ago.
Are the coaches concerned with the lifestyle changes?
“No, guys are still performing, guys are taking care of business. So until that falls off, then you don’t have anything to worry about,” Casey added.
Perhaps if the Titans keep performing as well as they have been, other members on other teams will also follow suit as they will see that maybe there is something to this type of lifestyle change after all.
As mentioned above, more and more people are becoming aware of the potential health and performance benefits that come along with a plant-based diet. I mean, at the very least it’s worth a try. Your body expends a tremendous amount of energy trying to digest things like meat and dairy, and this will inevitably slow us down. Plants provide fuel and energy and are much easier on our systems to process and digest. It seems almost obvious that a plant-based diet could help the performance of athletes, and I predict that this lifestyle is something that will continue to catch on as more and more awareness is raised.
Have you switched to a plant-based diet? What are some benefits that you have noticed? Share with us in the comments section!
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